Gietrzwald, Poland: “The Lourdes of Poland”
The story of Our Lady of Gietrzwald:
Perhaps not as well known as Lourdes, this shrine is a major pilgrimage destination in Poland. The history dates at least as far back at the 16th Century although the apparition itself took place between June 27 and September 16 of 1877, within a few years of the apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes and La Salette.
Our Lady appeared to a young girl on that first day and although she was with her mother at the time, only she saw the apparition. Our Lady requested that she return the next day, and she did, but with a friend as well, and appeared to both of them, holding the baby Jesus in her lap. For the next 10 weeks the apparitions took place daily, always with the same message: “Pray the Rosary”.
The girls were instructed to go to a nearby spring, and she would bless it for the healing of both physical and spiritual maladies.
As word spread, people flocked to the shrine, until by September 8 the total for one day reached 50,000 pilgrims. An investigation was begun after the apparitions ceased, examining the girls separately. Previously, their physical state during the apparitions was also recorded.
The apparitions were finally approved in 1977, one hundred years after they began. The Church was designated as a Basilica Minor by Pope Paul VI in 1970
About the Shrine of Our Lady of Grietrzwald:
With the fall of Communism, visitors to the shrine have increased greatly. There are several Masses each day.
Weekday Masses are at 7:00 a.m., 12:00 noon and 6:00 p.m. The Rosary is at 6:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Sunday Masses are at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
The nearest train station is Biesal, about 3 miles (5 Km) from the shrine.
Address: Klasztorna 1, 11-036 Gietrzwałd, Poland.
GPS coordinates: 53° 44′ 54.1608” N 20° 14′ 12.8040” E
Tel: +48 89-512 31 02
e-mail: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of Our Lady of Gietrzwald